ED Nurse with Deteriorating Health

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I am currently a registered nurse working on a med
    surg floor. My background for the past three years has been emergency room. Unfortunately I have had ongoing health issues and had to leave the ER.

    I am on a reduced schedule now working 4 x
    8 hourshifts , I can just about survive on the pay but unfortunately my health is continuing to deteriorate and I am finding it harder and harder to work on the floor.
    I do not know where to go from
    here , I think I can probably manage another year or so on the floor but then will likely have to move on to something less physically strenuous.
    I do not know what to do and what sort of jobs are out
    there , I am 35 years old, I have a BS in nursing , I have a mortgage and two children and need to keep working.

    Dear Needs Less Physically Strenuous Work,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your health. Clinical nursing is on your feet, often over concrete surfaces, with no guarantees of breaks.

    There are many jobs that are less physically strenuous than clinical bedside nursing.
    I would try to get a non-bedside job ASAP so you can gain skills. Later, if your health does not improve,
    you'll be in a better position to negotiate part-time work.

    Consider case management, infection prevention, Quality, Risk, Informatics....there are many options away from the bedside.
    Inpatient case management experience could qualify you to work from home later as a case manager. Read 8 Jobs to Work From Home.

    Also think about outpatient/clinic oncology or infusion- get yourself positioned now with skills before your health deteriorates further.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Jul 23
  2. Visit Nurse Beth profile page

    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,573; Likes: 4,726
    Nursing Professional Development Specialist; from CA , US
    Specialty: Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho


  3. by   amzyRN
    Have you considered case management? Some of my old ED coworkers went this route.
  4. by   CityofAngelsRN
    I think Nurse Beth's suggestion of finding something that will allow you to work from home in the near future is very smart. Case management at your current hospital would be a good option to get that experience needed for at home case management jobs. Also, companies like Aetna and Cigna (and I believe Kaiser) hire telephone triage nurses. Your background in ER would definitely qualify you! I am attaching a link that lists some great opportunities for nurses who want to work from home. I hope this helps!
  5. by   sawice
    I now work in a pre-operative area doing pre-surgical interviews both over the phone and in person. I still miss the rush of code, new hot-mess admission, all of the fun bedside excitement. It's a desk job and I'm able to work from home every now and then. Do I miss bedside? Sometimes yes, but more than not, no.

    I've found in this role I have more opportunities to educate peers, I'm active in our Orientation process, etc. I'm still able to do 12h shifts, so I'm not stuck running errands on the weekends with EVERY SINGLE OTHER PERSON IN THE WORLD!!

    There most definitely is life after the bedside!! You'll find your niche.